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Thaddeus B. Kubis

Converging Technologies and Print

By Thaddeus B. Kubis

About Thaddeus B.

Thad has developed The Institute For Media Convergence (www.tifmc.org), into a leading Media Convergence research group and NAK Integrated Marketing Inc., (www.nakinc.com) an internationally known, integrated marketing resource utilizing emerging technologies linked to print.
 

Ready, Set, Converge on a Definition

 
A few blogs ago, I wrote about customer centric communications (CCC) and customer centric marketing (CCM). At that time, I was attempting in my mind to link CCC/CCM to the power of print and the advantage this type of marketing offers the printer.

When you link either CCC or CCM with media convergence the possibilities become, as they say, endless. A number of successful print providers have told me that I was right on target and, if anything, they advised me keep a low profile as it relates to this concept. A common comment was let the others guys figure this out for themselves.

Understood, but since I don’t expect some thugs to break my knees, I wanted to continue the discussion and link the concept of CCC/CCM with media convergence. If you have been a follower of this blog, you know I am strong proponent of this discipline.

But before I move forward with making the link, I wanted to explain and define what I see as media convergence. Don Carli of The Institute of Sustainable Communications drove me to complete this definition sooner than planned, but in the end I agreed with Don that the definition is needed to provide the proper link, garner the needed support and lead the way. So here we go.

If you look to a number of “definitions,” nearly all define media convergence as the integration of computing power (primarily the Internet), communications and content. They are known as the three “Cs,” but there is a fourth “C”—the consumer.

Here is how I see it, and I hope you agree. Actually, I hope you don’t agree and ask questions, challenge the concept, for it is said there are no authorities in science, only experts. I too wish to be an expert in this field, and experts are made by the challenges they field and successfully counter.

What is Media Convergence? It is:

• Computer Power

The advent of the Internet and the digital highway has provided any marketer (print provider) with a fast-lane, a sort of digital easy pass to touch, survey, measure and track any level of communication that the consumer accepts, or even rejects. The question on the table is, How do we—the communicator—use this highway? Where are the on and off ramps, speed limit, signs, rest areas and on-the-road support? There may be many on ramps, but, until now, few exits. Is there a map?

• Communications
The above stated digital highway is a nearly perfect conduit for communication. The advanced marketer can allow the consumer to define the method of being “touched,” the frequency of that contact and even specificity of the message. The content end of the media convergence highway is, to m,e the key to success, for it is the heart and blood of the new future. If you have no interest in pig eye soup, would you read about it? I don’t think so. Read on, as they say.

• Content
What did you say; you don’t care about ski caps since you live in Miami? Good call, bad message. Branded content is today—not yesterday, not tomorrow—and media convergence will help guide the correct message to the right person at the right time via the correct media. Interested in bluebird houses? How about bluebird houses and the potential of a bird establishing a nest based on your GPS location. Yep, media convergence will allow that to happen.

• Consumer
To me, this is the single most important topic, since without the consumer or customer, the above three “innovations” would have little to stand upon and the profitability of media convergence would be in question. The consumer will make the final choice—how many screens, where and when they wish to be touched—about what they wish to hear and see, even smell. Yes, smell!

The Definition: A measured and researched combination of the four “Cs” of media convergence defined by the targeted audience, the level of budgetary commitment and desired effect. The type of media and the levels of media to be used also define media convergence.

For example, a print-based direct mail effort linked to the Internet that is supported by an e-mail program, integrated with a mobile GPS (geo-tracking) program and that drives the recipient to a form capture page that takes you—the consumer—to a branded content site. This personalized micro site can reverse the process and ask questions, send consumers automated and customized direct mail and e-mails, and contact them via their mobile phone with SMS and augmented reality, all set up to help you shop, buy and track your positive or negative efforts.

That is media convergence, by my definition. And the way I see it, if you hold the words media convergence up to a mirror, what you get is not a mirrored image of the words, but the words, as if by magic (smoke and mirrors), are changed to read Customer Centric Communications.

More to follow next week, including the road map.

Does this define media convergence for you? Let me know, as the current “Chief Evangelist for Media Convergence,” I wish to get it right by you and, of course, by me.

Need to go deep into the mirror and see what Alice saw, call me at (917) 597-1891 or e-mail me at thad@nakinc.com.
 

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